Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Hello Hollywood 

In this mornings Indianapolis Star, there was a story that has all the makings of a Hollywood film starring Billy Bob Thornton, William H. Macy, and Ben Affleck.

It appears that William Foreman, a Hoosier Lottery security officer and a former policeman, (played by Macy) stole scratch-off tickets and confidential Lottery info. Foreman funnelled these to two younger accomplices from Shelbyville, Indiana who were down on their luck. Daniel Foltz (played by Thornton) works on his family farm is recruited by his friend Chad Adkins to "scratch and win" the lottery. Once a college basketball star at Indiana State, Adkins, now unemployed, barely making it on occasional gambling wins, loses big betting on the ponies at the new horse track in Shelbyville, Hoosier Downs (giving the film its title, Hoosiers Down).

Telling a tale of moral and ethical corruption in the heartland pointing out the irony of an America that believes it can have strong moral values while at the same time trying to pay for all of public needs by taxing and promoting gambling, this melancholy black comedy has a shot at the Oscars (especially for Affleck).

But the story doesn't end there. Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi (played by Rick Schroeder of Silver Spoons and NYPD blue fame) has accused the Hoosier Lottery officials of a cover up. Weasel Lottery Director Jack Ross (John C. McGinley, sport reporter from Any Given Sunday) defended his agency. Hoosier Lottery investigator Matthew Hollcraft (Don Cheadle) is forced to resign after he compromises his situation by looking at confidential material for which he didn't have clearance.

Renee Zwellweger cameos as state Senator Vi Simpson (D), "It's always troublesome when something like this occurs, but we should keep in mind the system works. The point is they didn't succeed. I think perhaps Prosecutor Brizzi is making a bigger deal out of this than it is." Well-known Indiana gun dealer Don Davis has a walk-on as a conservative radio talk show host, blaming the fiasco on the previous Democratic administration.


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